October 30, 2011

A Musical and a Snack

Yesterday a friend and I went to the Walton Arts Center to see West Side Story Broadway Tour and it was worth every penny of the sixty-five dollar ticket. Our seats were on the ninth row, smack dab in the middle of the row. I have to say that we had the best seats in the house.

The lead cast members playing Tony and Maria had beautiful voices and magnetic chemistry. The other cast members wowed the audience with their dancing AND vocal abilities. The sets were very nice and minimal and the costumes were delightful. This version of West Side Story differs from the original in that the Latino parts are played by Latino actors and Spanish is used liberally throughout the show. It really gave a feeling of the cultural differences between the Sharks and the Jets.

If this show comes to your area, please don't hesitate to spend your money!

After the show we decided to have an early dinner and wanted to try something new. There is a little cafe named BHK Kafe in Nightbird Books, a small independent bookstore on Dickson Street that uses local ingredients so we thought we'd give it a shot. When we walked in we had a bit of difficulty figuring out how to order as well as what was offered on the menu. After locating the menu my friend left to "powder her nose" so I place my order of Salad of Local Greens and Pumpkin Tacos along with a glass of merlot. My friend ordered the Soup du Jour, a lentil dal soup with ginger and miso, and Spring Rolls.

I sat at one of the few tables with my glass of merlot and my friend browsed the bookstore while we waited for our meal. Cooking from fresh ingredients requires some time so after awhile our dinner was brought to our table.

My salad was served on a long rectangular plate and consisted of fresh crisp greens with slices of granny apple, cucumber and celery tossed in a lime cilantro dressing. The dressing had just the right amount of tang and the vegetables were nice and crisp. My pumpkin tacos were served on a square plate and consisted of roasted pumpkin sauted with other things and topped with something akin to Curtido, a spicy/tangy cabbage salad. This was placed on miniature corn tortillas. The flavor was complex and very tasty.

My friend's soup was served in a soup cup and was a nice creamy textured lentil soup. The flavor was a bit bland and needed more of something. The spring rolls were served on a square plate and consisted of 2 rolls filled with local greens, herbs, mung bean, cucumber, celery, onion, sesame, carrot, shitake mushrooms and miso. The dipping sauce was a slightly tangy miso sauce. Unfortunately, her meal was just so-so.

We both ordered desserts to go, a chocolate layer cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and dried apricots, a hazelnut brownie torte with chocolate ganache and a shortbread cookie. The cake was good but the dried apricots were a bit strange. The brownie torte was interesting. The cookie was very dry but had a good flavor.

As we were getting in the car to leave the restaurant my friend said, "Maybe we should have opted for Italian food. I'm still hungry!".

West Side Story: Superb!
BHK Kafe: Worth One Shot But No Return

October 25, 2011


The occupy movement has come to Northwest Arkansas. The most active area is Fayetteville where they (we) are mainly preaching to the choir, but at least something is starting to happen.

I, and my friend Sheila, joined a march a couple of weeks ago and it was great seeing all 330 of us marching with signs, drums, tambourines and other instruments. We chanted things like "Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like" and "We are the 99%". We began with a rally at the town square and ended at the Bank of America across from the University of Arkansas on Dickson Street. The Fayetteville Police Department stopped traffic for us even though that was not supposed to be a part of the plan. We got lots of honks of support from drivers and some pedestrians joined us along the route.

There were young and old alike. There were nurses, teachers, artists, musicians, students, Walmart employees, restaurant workers and all other kinds of people. The one disturbing thing was that the African American and Hispanic American populace was not well represented. I know that Northwest Arkansas has a huge Hispanic population but they did not come.

There are other groups in the making such as Occupy Bentonville that I hope will target corporations like Walmart and Tyson and will bring a better representation of what Northwest Arkansas looks like. I also hope that Occupy Northwest Arkansas doesn't just concentrate on Fayetteville. As I see it, the more people we can incorporate under one umbrella the more impact we will have.

In the mean time, I will continue to support the cause when they (we) march and I hope this movement stays alive. The only way to change things is to participate and democracy demands participation. I urge everyone to at least get involved in the marches. It is so inspiring to be among people who are willing to show their faces and be a part of the changing tide. 

Remember, when you march you are showing what democracy looks like!